People & Money

Advertising Legend and Silent Tycoon, Biodun Shobanjo’s Biography for Launch

The biography of one of Nigeria’s most intriguing businessmen, Biodun Shobanjo, will be launched today. He is known mainly as the founder of the advertising company, Insight Communications, but Mr. Shobanjo is Chairman of Troyka Holdings, a group that comprises other firms in the marketing communications space, a real estate company, and perhaps the crown jewel of the group, Halogen Security.

The biography titled, The Will to Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo, is authored by Mr. Dotun Adekanmbi, a business journalist and public relations expert. He was named Investigative Journalist of the Year at the Nigeria Media Merit Awards in 2003 and elected Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association [CAMCONIA] in 2010. 

The occasion is to be graced by a host of dignitaries including former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Christopher Kolade, who will chair the virtual launch. Veteran journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch Magazine, Mr. Ray Ekpu, will review the biography during the launch.

The Will to Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo is an “authoritative biography” written with constant access to Mr. Shobanjo as well as to dozens of current and former staff, family members, and friends, including former colleagues and business partners.

Described as “a biographical portrait of Nigeria’s ‘Czar of Advertising’”, the book chronicles Shobanjo’s 56-year career starting from his 1964 role as Studio Manager in then Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), now Radio Nigeria, to his days at Grant Advertising Ltd, an American-Nigerian agency. The book also details his experiences following his venture into entrepreneurship upon co-founding Insight Communications in 1980.

Also Read: Working Lives: The Bougie Tailor Who Sews Babaringa For Senators

Author of the book, Dotun Adekanmbi, said: “I was motivated to write this book because I found Dr. Shobanjo’s personality and professional accomplishments quite intriguing, particularly because he evokes diverse passions in players in his industry. My determination to unravel the myths that surround him prompted my proposal to write The Will to Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo. His willingness to share his professional worldview with young practitioners and people in search of knowledge is what is now being presented to the public.”

While commenting on the book, Shobanjo admitted he had been reluctant to be involved with a biography on himself that could come off as a vain ‘been there, seen it all and done it all’ kind of storytelling, noting:

“In my view, every biography must be a learning encounter for its reader; not a platform for a subject to blowing the trumpet of perceived accomplishments in one’s field over several decades. For me, therefore, The Will to Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo is a legacy project intended to demonstrate how our Groups – Troyka Holdings, Insight Redefini, Halogen Group – arrived at where we are today in our industry. As I like to say, ‘unless people understand the dream, they cannot act the dream.’”  

Mr. Shobanjo’s achievement is very unique because he remains the only major surviving advertising agency founded by advertising practitioners of his generation. The Insight Group is Nigeria’s largest marketing communications outfit. He has not only dominated marketing communications, he has extended his tentacles to other sectors. Halogen is Nigeria’s biggest security business, recently expanding to new areas like cybersecurity services. 

Also Read: Working Lives: The Working Girl Whose Ghanaian Dad Sells Okrika

Mr. Shobanjo has been conferred with many honours including Doctor of Letters (D.Litt Honoris Causa) by the Obafemi Awolowo University; Advertising Man of All Time by The Sun Newspapers and Most Influential Personality in Advertising in Africa by Africa Development Magazine, Ghana.

Mr. Lanre Adesuyi, Managing Director of Havilah Books, expressed delight at the opportunity to serve as publishers of the biography, calling it “a worthwhile experience for us at Havilah Books, not just in terms of the technical production of the book but especially in terms of the commitment to excellence by all parties.”

The Will To Win: The Story of Biodun Shobanjo by Dotun Adekanmbi is available in both hardcover and paperback editions. The delivery of the book to people who order online will begin on Friday, 27 November, a day after it is launched. It will also be soon available on

Attendance of the virtual launch is open to everyone; interested members of the public reserve a “seat” and/or make a pre-order via the book’s website.

Oluwatomi Otuyemi

Oluwatomi Otuyemi, a Geology graduate from Crawford University, has 5 years experience in corporate corporate communications. He has a passion for storytelling, and investigative reporting.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Stay up to date with our latest news and articles.
We promise not to spam you!

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Arbiterz will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.